Administrative Professional Certificate
SLU's Online Learning
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Administrative Professional Staff Certificate (6 courses)
Human Resources is pleased to announce a new online certificate program for Administrative Assistants, Executive Assistants, Office Managers and other office support staff. This program offers you the opportunity to acquire and develop the knowledge, skills and competencies essential to your work environment. Earn your certificate by completing one course in each of the following topics:
- Business Writing
- Personal Efficiency
- Presenting a Professional Image
- Resiliency in Change
- Effective Communication
- Service Excellence
Your certificate will be presented upon successful completion of all six courses. There is no "due date," allowing you to complete your certificate at your own pace.
Please log into your SkillSoft account and view the catalog.
(Choose one course from the following)
Business Writing Editing and Proofreading
This course highlights the importance of editing and proofreading your business documents. It describes some key areas to consider when editing - like tone, structure, clarity, and accuracy. You will also explore ways to proofread effectively. In particular, you will find out about some of the most common grammatical, punctuation, and spelling mistakes that people make.
Business Writing: Knowing your Readers and Purpose
This course addresses ways to identify your readers and to create messages that convey the appropriate tone for different reader roles. It also outlines how to write effectively for the three most common reasons for writing a business document - to inform, respond, or persuade.
Business Grammar: The Mechanics of Writing
This course presents the basic rules for using capital letters, abbreviations, and numbers. It covers abbreviations of titles, names, locations, and countries, as well as how to capitalize direct quotes, titles, names of organizations, and product names, among other elements. In addition, you will be introduced to the forms and uses of numbers with dates and time, money, fractions, and symbols.
Business Writing: How to Write Clearly and Concisely
This course describes ways to make your writing more clear. Specifically, it covers the importance of using short, familiar words, appropriate connotations, concrete and specific language, and transitional words and phrases. The course also discusses ways to be more concise and explains some best practices for organizing content logically and appropriately.
Writing under Pressure: Preparing for Success
This course provides professionals with effective ways to prepare for writing successfully under pressure, including how to reduce stress and prepare a suitable writing environment, as well as how to reduce distractions.
Using E-mail and Instant Messaging Effectively
This course covers the basic requirements for using e-mail to communicate effectively. Specifically, you will be introduced to tried-and-true guidelines for e-mailing effectively, fundamental elements every e-mail should contain, and the importance of keeping e-mails concise. The course also covers the etiquette associated with using instant messaging programs as an extension of e-mail.
(Choose one from the following)
Professionalism, Business Etiquette, and Personal Accountability
This course introduces the importance of personal accountability and outlines strategies for developing a personal accountability framework. This helps empower you to be your own boss, set your own standards, and carry yourself with professionalism and confidence. It provides you with techniques to set appropriate goals based on your abilities and available resources. And it shows you how to develop an action plan to achieve your goals and use techniques to better manage your energy levels.
Developing Your Reputation of Professionalism with Business Etiquette
This course introduces you to the basics of how to act professionally and practice proper business etiquette. It also explains how to present yourself in the work environment, including looking the part of a professional and ensuring your workspace reflects positively on you. And it looks at how to ensure your personal activities don't impact your work reputation, which is especially important in the time of far-reaching social media.
Administrative Professionals: Representing Your Boss
This course covers the skills you need to be successful as an administrative professional, including communication skills, organizing and managing skills, problem-solving skills, and basic office skills. It also describes strategies for anticipating your boss's needs, for making your boss look good, and for keeping your boss informed. Finally, you are presented with techniques for effectively communicating a boss's messages and decisions.
Conflict, Stress, and Time Management
This course is intended to show the proper methods needed to resolve conflicts, manage time, and manage stress. It also highlights the importance of a positive approach and attitude in bringing customer interactions to a satisfactory conclusion. This course helps to prepare learners to work in a customer support center or help desk environment.
Optimizing Your Work/Life Balance: Analyzing Your Life Balance
This course highlights techniques you can use to analyze your current level of balance between work and life responsibilities. It covers ways to assess your current work/life balance and overcome internal and external obstacles to achieving balance. Only through properly understanding where you are, in relation to where you want to be, can you begin to construct a map that will take you to your objective of a balanced, fulfilled life. Materials designed to support blended learning activities aligned with this course are available from the Resources Page.
Balancing Your Responsibilities Simulation *
This simulation describes the complex situation a web master finds himself in of providing seamless communication for his company combined with taking over the responsibilities of an employee who has resigned and taking care of family responsibilities. Balancing this responsibility with your professional ones has become very difficult. This simulation is based on the SkillSoft series "Optimizing Your Work/Life Balance" and contains links to the following courses: pd_06_a01_bs_enus, pd_06_a02_bs_enus, and pd_06_a03_bs_enus.
* If you choose a simulation, you are required to combine it with a course.
PRESENTING A PROFESSIONAL IMAGE
(Choose one from the following courses.)
Developing Strategic Peer Relationships in Your Organization
Cultivating relationships with your work peers can lead to success for you as an individual and for your organization as a whole. Developing a supportive peer network can provide you with access to a wide variety of expertise and institutional knowledge and it enables you to leverage other people's networks. Because every workplace has its own dynamic, you need to develop a better awareness of your environment. This course explores how you can identify the peers in your organization who are especially important in meeting your goals and it shows you how to develop solid, mutually beneficial relationships with these people.
Managing Your Career: You and Your Boss
Your boss can be the lifeline to your future. Typically, no one has more influence over your immediate and long-term success than the person to whom you report. Not only will you find enjoyment and reward in your current position, but you want your boss to be a source of support when the day comes that you are ready to move ahead with your career. This course teaches strategies for building a strong professional relationship with your boss. It explains various ways you can become aligned with your boss and even how to give your boss constructive feedback. Materials designed to support blended learning activities aligned with this course are available from the Resources Page.
Administrative Professionals: Putting Your Best Foot Forward
As an administrative professional, there are many skills and competencies you must master, ranging from organizational skills to technical aptitude. In order to be truly successful, though, you must also master other essential skills like the ability to gain the trust, respect, and admiration of your boss and colleagues. You must also remain true to yourself and maintain your dignity, all while expressing yourself to others, making decisions at work, or navigating through office politics. This course introduces some best practices for making a good impression as an administrative professional. Specifically, you'll learn how to project a positive professional image by building credibility and maintaining authenticity. You'll also explore the importance of communicating honestly, respecting others, and having a positive outlook in order to create a positive work environment. Finally, you'll learn how to practice positive office politics to enable you to put your best foot forward as you make your mark in the organization.
Administrative Professionals: Maximizing Your Relationship with Your Boss
As a good administrative professional, you provide invaluable support to your boss and the business. This support is optimized when the working relationship between you and your boss is a true partnership. Within this partnership, your relationship must be managed and maintained according to the particular management style of your boss to ensure compatibility, dependability, and efficiency as you work toward common goals. Through partnership, you can maximize your relationship with your boss and realize benefits for yourself and your career. This course explores ways to build a partnership with your boss. Specifically, it covers ways of establishing and maintaining the elements of a true partnership, and shows how you can benefit personally from it. The course also covers approaches for dealing effectively with different management styles and techniques for successfully handling confrontations that may occur over the course of your partnership with your boss.
Interpersonal Communication: Communicating with Confidence
Are you reluctant to voice your opinions to your colleagues for fear they'll be judged negatively? Do you find yourself avoiding awkward communication situations? Confident interpersonal communication skills are essential for healthy and successful relationships, whether personal or professional. Once you've learned how to apply them, these skills enhance your influence and help you achieve your goals. Communicators have an enormous advantage if their relationships are based on rapport-building trust and credibility. But trust and credibility are not the only essentials. You also need to use specific communication behaviors to project confidence in all your verbal and nonverbal interactions.
The course shows you how the essential elements of trust, credibility, and specific confident communication behaviors bring about confident communication and enhance your influence. It highlights the advantages of communicating with confidence, explores the construction of trust and credibility, and clarifies how trust and credibility result in confident communications. Materials designed to support blended learning activities aligned with this course are available from the Resources Page.
RESILIENCY IN CHANGE
(Choose one of the following courses.)
Managing a Project (2.5 hours)
The factors of a successful project almost always end up depending on how much money and time is needed to create a product worthy of the customer. This course will help you manage the constraints of time, money, and schedules, and how they relate to the overall quality of your project and product. This course is 2.5 hours and is targeted toward a diverse range of managers and staff members who wish to acquire the necessary skills to successfully manage small- to medium-sized projects. The following topics are covered in this course.
- Managing Schedules, Resources, and Costs
- Managing Project Quality
- Project Management Applications
- Lesson Overview
- Managing Project Activities
- Maintaining Control of a Project
- Managing Project Risks
Creating a Positive Attitude
Oftentimes your success or failure depends not only on the situation you are in, but how you react to that situation. Your reaction to the situations you encounter is significantly influenced by your attitude. Having a positive attitude involves looking for the best in a situation, being realistic about possibilities and consequences, and having the courage to believe that you can succeed. It isn't always easy to be positive. You may feel that the odds are stacked against you, or you may find it hard to cope with the difficult and challenging situations that you find yourself in. Taking action to develop a positive attitude involves examining how you perceive your situation, and how you deal with your perception of the situation. This course will show you that it is possible to change your perspective from negative to positive, and provide you with skills for overcoming the challenges that you face at work. Being successful starts and ends with you, and having a positive attitude will help you achieve your desired success.
Managing Attitudes during Difficult Times
Employees may experience fear, anxiety, and frustration when their company is going through difficult times. If employees' attitudes suffer, so too does their performance. You must take steps to keep employees engaged, enthusiastic, and motivated when a company is facing challenges. By learning how to manage employee attitudes that often surface in difficult times, and by motivating and supporting employees, you can help boost the morale of everyone in your business.
This course explains how stress manifests itself in employees when companies are going through challenging times, and it teaches techniques for reducing such stress. It also shows you how to develop a motivational style of leadership to maximize employee performance and reduce demotivating workplace behaviors. Finally, it gives you a chance to practice strategies for supporting employees through tough times.
Doing Business Professionally Simulation *
Everyday business activities require a determined effort to fulfill. Schedules must be kept; deadlines must be met. To ensure productivity remains on target, business professionals must possess refined skills in setting priorities, managing daily tasks, and maintaining personal accountability. The Doing Business Professionally Simulation is designed to enable participants to develop the skills necessary for increasing personal accountability and business professionalism. Over the course of the simulation, participants will practice personal development skills, encompassing the objectives of taking initiative, collaborating on goals, aligning priorities and goals, demonstrating a positive attitude, reacting positively to criticism and feedback, and being assertive. The Doing Business Professionally Simulation comprises two scenarios and is based on the SkillSoft series "Doing Business Professionally." Throughout the simulation, links are provided to the following SkillSoft courses: pd_05_a02_bs_enus, pd_05_a03_bs_enus, and pd_05_a04_bs_enus.
*If you choose to take this simulation you are required to combine it with another course.
(Choose one of the following courses.)
Interpersonal Communication: Being Approachable
Walking into a meeting surrounded by unknown faces, going to conferences, attending work events, starting a new job, and even going to social gatherings can be daunting, especially if you don't know anybody who will be there. Perhaps you worry about being ignored or not connecting with anyone and dread that awkward feeling of standing alone, off to the side. Do you wonder why people seem to be drawn to certain individuals in the room? Those individuals probably faced the same feelings of uncertainty entering the room as you did, but the difference may be that they appear to be more approachable than you do. Approachability involves conveying your willingness to reach out and invite others in by initiating contact, making yourself available, and building rapport.
This course is designed to give you an understanding of how to build skills to become more approachable. You'll learn about the benefits of being approachable, as well as some techniques you can use to enhance your ability to reach out and invite others in. You'll also learn about putting people at ease when you're communicating and building rapport using skills such as listening, harmonizing, and sharing to ensure that people see how approachable you are. Materials designed to support blended learning activities aligned with this course are available from the Resources Page.
Listening Essentials: Improving Your Listening Skills
There are many factors and variables that influence the way we listen. Listening to understand and being able to truly identify what is being said to you is often easier said than done. Internal and external roadblocks can interfere with how we listen and interpret the information communicated to us.
In this course, you'll discover how roadblocks such as distractions, emotions, and the way in which we communicate can influence the way we listen and receive messages. The course also covers strategies that you can use to avoid these roadblocks and improve your listening skills. Materials designed to support blended learning activities aligned with this course are available from the Resources Page.
Learning Sparks *
- ID: _pc_ls_laqs3001 Benefits of Listening (4 min)
- ID: _pc_ls_laqs3002 Active Listening (2 min)
- ID: _pc_ls_laqs3005 Listening with Empathy (3 min)
* If you choose to take these Learning Sparks, you are required to take all listed in a group, and combine with one course.
Listening Essentials: The Basics of Listening
Do you feel the need to better understand the basic meaning of a conversation, or a presentation given at the workplace? What about the need to identify what is being said to you in a more effective manner? Although relatively straightforward in theory, the process that transforms effective listening into successful communication requires great skill, awareness, and practice. This course will review the various types of listeners and the benefits of being able to listen effectively when communicating. The course also reviews some popular misconceptions about listening. Active listening techniques for improving your listening and maximizing your understanding are also covered. Materials designed to support blended learning activities aligned with this course are available from the Resources Page.
Strategies for Communicating with Tact and Diplomacy
Communicating with diplomacy and tact requires strategy, awareness, and skills. Its aim is to establish trust and rapport in relationships while delivering messages effectively. However, it's often pushed aside by good intentions cloaked by gut reaction and misinterpretation. This course provides techniques you can use to navigate through conversations in a way that shows sensitivity and respect for others. As well as exploring what you should say, the course shows you how you can use proper timing and delivery when conveying your message. This will enable you to deliver messages tactfully and diplomatically, without sacrificing your reputation or professional relationships.
Effective Interpersonal Communications Simulation *
Lockstone Interactive Media has successfully implemented custom web solutions for clients both large and small. Equally adept at building both high-end web sites and custom online software applications, Lockstone's customers have included healthcare institutions, automobile parts manufacturers, technology firms, and nonprofit organizations. You're an account representative with Lockstone responsible for working with customers throughout the design and development process. The first step is to meet with a prospective client to discuss his needs. Assuming this initial consultation goes well, you then work with other members of the Lockstone team to develop a web design and strategy proposal for the client. And if the client accepts the proposal, you will then oversee and facilitate the completion of the work. Your job involves extensive contact with many different people. You're successful at it because you rely on your strong interpersonal skills. But working with an extremely demanding customer and difficult colleagues are going to put your communication abilities to the test. This simulation is based on the SkillSoft series "Interpersonal Communications" and contains links to the following courses: comm_21_a01_bs_enus, comm_21_a03_bs_enus, comm_21_a04_bs_enus, comm_21_a05_bs_enus.
* If you choose to take this simulation, you are required to combine with one course.
Learning Spark *
Using Self Knowledge and Communication
This Spark is a component of the SkillSoft Leadership Advantage track Decisiveness and was designed for use specifically within that track. The target audience for the SkillSoft Leadership Advantage is mid- to upper-level managers and executives; all high potentials and fast trackers, including individual contributors.
Expected Duration: 5 minutes
* If you choose to take this Learning Spark, you are required to combine with one course.
(Choose one from the following)
Customer Service over the Phone
Can you hear a smile over the phone? When you're providing customer service over the phone - without the benefits of face-to-face interaction with your customer - it can be challenging to establish the right relationship for excellent service. Just like for face-to-face customer service, there are many techniques for service over the phone that can help you to consistently deliver the best customer service.
This course covers the basic rules for answering a customer call including greeting the customer and offering your assistance. It includes information on how to make a good impression by listening and using questions to probe for more information, using your tone, and being able to empathize and be sincere with the customer. This course also describes ways of reflecting or adapting to your customer's style. In the end, customer service should focus on how to better serve and benefit the customer. Materials designed to support blended learning activities aligned with this course are available from the Resources Page.
Internal Customer Service
Do you know who your customers are? In a customer-focused company, everyone knows they are responsible for excellent external customer service, but who meets the needs of internal customers? Whether you realize it or not, when you do things to help other people within your company do their jobs better, you are providing internal customer service. Internal customer service occurs every time you or a colleague requires information or a service from someone else within the company, and the quality of that service often has a huge impact on the overall quality of service delivered to external customers.
This course explores who internal customers are, the expectations placed on serving internal customers, and how to treat your coworkers as you would your external customers. Materials designed to support blended learning activities aligned with this course are available from the Resources Page.
Shaping the Direction of Customer Service in Your Organization
There are several defining moments or moments of truth that can make or break every service transaction. To successfully navigate these moments of truth, it's important for service organizations - and specifically customer service leaders - to add value to a customer's experience by creating and implementing strong, clearly-defined service standards. To implement effective standards and strategies, it's crucial that you stay attuned to customer needs and expectations, building a dynamic, adaptive service strategy based on input such as market research and customer feedback. This course explores strategies used to shape the direction of customer service in your organization including defining moments of truth, the creation and implementation of quantifiable service standards and methods of evolving your customer strategy to meet the changing needs of your customers. Materials designed to support blended learning activities aligned with this course are available from the Resources Page.
Customer Service Fundamentals: Building Rapport in Customer Relationships
Good customer service and strong customer relationships begin with building rapport. Building rapport requires knowing your customer, understanding their situation, and providing an empathetic ear for them to voice their concerns. Building rapport can lead to great customer relationships between individuals as well as the company they represent. This course covers how to build rapport with customers by being customer-focused. This includes being able to connect with your customers, being positive, paying close attention to the customers' needs, and understanding their feelings by empathizing with them. Materials designed to support blended learning activities aligned with this course are available from the Resources Page.
Customer Service Confrontation and Conflict
How do you handle angry and confrontational customers? One of the most challenging, and potentially uncomfortable responsibilities of a customer service person is dealing with angry customers. By following a few simple techniques such as letting the customer vent, and expressing empathy towards the customer's situation, you can usually defuse tense situations without incident.
This course explores typical trouble spots in dealing with angry customers, including reasons for customer dissatisfaction and things customer service people should refrain from saying or doing to avoid adding to the customer's frustration. Materials designed to support blended learning activities aligned with this course are available from the Resources Page.